MARKETING THAT THINKS FOR ITSELF
IBM’s Christian Andersen on the future of artificial intelligence.
We operate in a hyper- fast interconnected world. The consumer’s attention continues to shrink and the only thing that matters is relevance.
Creativity is also reaching new highs, with a critical mass of younger generations becoming more empowered through social media to voice their needs and interests, and brands and agencies pushing the boundaries of creativity with bold new ideas every day.
Also, in a region with one of the highest mobile and internet penetrations in the world, building a holistic view of the customer is a big challenge. Nowadays, marketers are seeking to integrate data from all channels to build a 360-degree view of their customers, which will enable them to deliver a relevant message for every customer, thereby increasing return on investment from their campaigns. This can be challenging, as data is often sitting in siloes that do not allow for this integration. If you can integrate everything your client does on social media, in your stores and while browsing the internet, you are certain to better understand them as individuals, which guarantees your success in delivering the right message in the right tone to each and every one of them.
Let’s also look at how the marketing and advertising scene has transformed over the last few years. We can see the significant transformation in the shift from offline marketing (above-the-line advertising, in- store advertising, etc.) to digital marketing, a few years back, to what we now call omnichannel marketing. Nowadays marketers are required to virtually sense every customer interaction with their brand, whether online or offline, and use that data to automatically deliver the most compelling message to each customer, in the best inbound or outbound channel, at the perfect moment.
The main marketing trend that is up and coming is dynamic marketing. It will no longer be enough to finely tailor marketing campaigns for consumers based on their profiles and preferences today, but an even more agile marketing technique will be required where campaign tactics, content, creative executions and even offers change on the spot based on any immediate action taken by the consumer or any sudden change in their environment (such as a shift in the weather).
Put all these elements together and it’s time for technology to step in and alleviate many of these uncertainties and challenges for marketers and agencies. Technology, particularly cognitive technology, can easily help solve many of the aforementioned challenges to let those in the creative business focus on what they know best: creativity.
A new era of cognitive business is emerging, and customers expect companies to really know them. Marketing in the cognitive era is about using insights in new ways to elevate the entirety of the customer experience, and building lasting connections with customers to withstand the changing dynamics of the evolving marketplace.
IBM has been focusing on cognitive technology, with its main engine being IBM Watson – a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of structured and unstructured data.
IBM Watson has many use cases, from improving healthcare to identifying fraudulent financial transactions, and is being used across industries and professions to find connections in huge amounts of data where human capabilities cannot take the lead. IBM Watson is also helping artists find inspiration in music pieces, create ads for a leading motor manufacturer and design a dress with cognitive capabilities, Watson is already assisting with creating unique experiences for consumers around the world.
Marketing in the cognitive era is about using insight and technology in new ways to elevate the entirety of the customer experience – creating singular yet cohesive moments throughout the customer journey that are tailored to each person’s needs, beyond any single product or service. It is about building connections with customers that withstand the changing dynamics and demands of the region’s evolving marketplace.
We are already seeing pioneer brands in the Middle East adopting cognitive technologies at the heart of their marketing strategy. AI helps them embed insights into the marketing processes to inform more targeted, relevant and effective marketing messages, vehicles and tactics. By being able to integrate data of all types from practically all sources these leaders are able to create unique insights that drive recommendations and drive growth for their businesses and brand values.
Christian Andersen Portfolio marketing director at IBM Middle East and Africa. His talk at the Dubai Lynx will be on From Mad Men to Mad Scientists: the Cognitive Marketers